Anxiety and Avoidance: The Outcome of No vs. The Outcome of Resolution

in spirituality •  2 years ago  (edited)

It's funny the sort of games we like to play with ourselves. For those of us that tend toward anxiety, it's easy to see aversion as a solution to problems. Unfortunately, this is the lie of an anxious mind. 

Rather than moving through any fear toward a sense of resolution, we instead put ourselves in a holding pattern that acts as a constant source of psychological strain. It pulls tighter and tighter inside us, constricting our chest and cutting off our breathing. 

They say that the reason we do this is because of the potential future we made in our heads. We feel that by encountering the person we're afraid of, or attempting the thing that we feel forced into that we will find ourselves at the mercy of... of... 



...and that's the rub. Our potential future is unformed and lazily realized. In my experience, there's seldom an outcome we're afraid of so much as the mere presence of any outcome we can't control. It's probability itself that's horrifying. The fact that there are too many variables and no guarantee anything you do will lead to the most positive one.. It's all about control at its core. 

For those of us that feel anxiety often, there are 2 outcomes in a situation we can control. One, is the "outcome of no." This is where we spend all our energy attempting avoid a problem. It just feel like... "no." We avoid people we've wronged. We hide from bosses and authority figures. We run away from social media or avoid phone calls. The outcome of no feels better than our perceived projection of any ramifications.  What the anxious mind fails to account for, however, is the effect of living with the dragging sensation of continued stress and worry. A sensation that compounds and grows the longer it remains unresolved, continually strangling us and cutting us off from the world bringing us ever closer to depression and despair. It may feel good at first, but it can't be sustained and you can never get better from holding onto such difficult and toxic feelings. 

The 2nd outcome of control for the anxious person is on the other side of the potential danger. It's the "outcome of resolution." That's where you breathe through your anxiety and go straight toward what is holding your body and spirit hostage. You apologize. You offer restitution. You start small and do the thing you're in fear of. You make a move and allow others to do whatever feels right for them. Reserve judgement and respect others enough to allow them to feel what they will even if they disagree. 

Resolution can pull back on the feeling of anxiety. Resolution can have the affect that we wish the outcome of no would provide. All we can do from there is our best. Though it may hurt in the short term, the outcome of resolution allows the anxious mind to let go and rest. It allows a person to move on to other matters. And it's only be moving on that we can let go of the anxiousness and finally feel the control we seek. 

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